Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

A support group for those with OCPD and their loved ones.
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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:38 pm
Posts: 1978
I'm thinking that people here on both sides of the OCPD experience want some similar things - along the lines of acknowledgement of painful, isolating experiences, and a pathway toward easing, understanding and healing that pain. OCPD'r behavior hurts & damages people close to us; unchecked, it crushes relationships and any dreams of shared visions in relationship.

Many different illnesses share similar traits. The path to deeper understanding here is not through a narcissist filter. While the line Paul draws may indeed be an unduly strident one, I'm sorry that it obscures the content of what he says.

OCPD'rs may often be childlike & selfish in our oblivion, and lacking in introspection and self-awareness. But, in my opinion and experience, applying narcissist explanations to an OCPD'rs actions will not help someone through the pain they cause, or lead to a better understanding of it or the OCPDr.

(It's certainly possible there are people here dealing with narcissism rather than OCPD, or, the gods of neuroscience only know, some combination of the two. In any event, for anyone curious, try reading on a narcissist forum or watching some videos. Get some firsthand experience. My SO and I traversed this ground. Along the way we came across Sam Vaknin. I find him fascinating. I learned a lot from him in how he deals with the egosyntonic nature of his thoughts and behaviors, and what's possible as far as management of an extreme case of a personality disorder.)

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People do not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.  ― Freda Lewis-Hall


Last edited by Francie on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Posts: 1978
LovethatOCPDMan wrote:
As yes, earlier, I was positing a possible theory about why there is such resistance to the concept that some OCPD'rs may exhibit some NPD traits, not trying to be offensive or do mind-reading.
I really appreciate all the thoughts and ideas being shared here.
I hear you :) . And I appreciate what you have to say as well.

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People do not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.  ― Freda Lewis-Hall


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:13 pm
Posts: 1346
Location: OBX, NC, 'Murica, Earth, Milky Way, Local Galactic Group
Quote:
NPD: things must be done MY way - I want to be the boss (cluster B: affective) - me, me, me
OCPD: things must be done correctly as a slave of idealistic ethical norm given (cluster C: anxiety) - it, it, it (idealistic norms)
....or......

OCPD: things aren't being done MY way - I have to be the boss - me, me, me
NPD: things must be done correctly as a slave of idealistic aesthetics and social hierarchy norm - it, it, it

So it can become a game of semantics, if you know what end result you want. "Ethical norms" are subjective, and the source of millennia of personal/cultural disagreement, so I don't think that "ethics" can be held up as an "it" any higher than other generally-positive abstract concepts (like I've inserted). People can have sharply contrasting ethical opinions, and hold theirs up as "the right" one. Further, some of the most contentious opinions can be over the most trivial issues (how to drive, clean, write/speak, align/arrange, fold toilet paper, eat, breathe, etc.).

I still would like to hear from more OCPDers as to whether there is a kind of noble image at the core of their OCPD construct, which might account for some uniquely OCPD traits.


Last edited by realitycheque on Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:44 pm 
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This "construct" is the official diagnosis OCPD and the base of the therapy, not only the idea of some idealistic OCPDer. I find we cannot change the official criteria on the own way. And only experts can give the right diagnosis, OCPD or NPD. I believe in the words of my experts who say that my "me" is not spaced out and it´s necessary to have a stronger "me".


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:10 pm 
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The artificial "construct" in my post is the term I have often used on this forum to describe the individual OCPDer's internalized idealistic reality, not anything to do with a diagnosis.

I definitely understand the need for an OCPDer to re-evaluate their underlying belief system and damaging thought processes. I just wonder if your experts' desire to focus more on "me" is to help alleviate the burden of perceived responsibility for things outside your control (letting go of that "duty"), rather than trying to become more egocentric (which we Nons see as adding fuel to the fire). Paul has described it as a need for Self-Compassion; again, we Nons from an external viewpoint would like to have the OCPDer feel more Other-Compassion (for us, as related to empathic connectedness).


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:25 pm 
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My experts have a good professional education and are leaders in their profession (in the USA too). They have written this even in their expertises. I read a lot of specialist literature which tells the same. OCPDer haven´t a strong Self, it´s the contrary. They forget the "me" and think only at their high ethical norms and want to fill the official standards. Not the Self is in the center of OCPD only the anxiety for being a miserable failure.


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:54 pm 
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So, if I understand you correctly, OCPDers have a weak Sense of Self, which they compensate for by trying to install an external highly-regarded and widely recognized set of standards/principles (for universal acceptance) upon which they "construct" their personality and consequently their world perspective (relative reality).

I think this may be pertinent to one forum member's adoption of religion and strong importance on moral tenets associated with that faith.

Could Fear of Failure (my DW's admitted handicap) and Guilt (i.e., being badly judged) be related? Is that why image/appearance to outsiders matters so much?


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Yes, it comes near. Fear of Failure must not be Guilt really. I have the feeling of failure because I could not help my sister in her misery but that´s only my anankastic wish to be a perfect sister, not guilt. It was impossible to help but my OCPD wants to be the best sister and protect the sister all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Posts: 2623
LovethatOCPDMan wrote:
There have been countless stories on this board and elsewhere of those with OCPD shutting down when their partner/child becomes seriously ill or injured. Refusing to drive a partner with a broken bone to the hospital, expecting a partner with cancer to "do more" around the house. (Mind you, many OCPD'rs have been wonderful and attentive caregivers.) In these cases, and from what some greenies have been kind enough to describe for us, it seems they get locked into either unconscious demand-resistance, or an anxiety loop of fearing to lose their partner and they can't deal with it, with any of it, so they pretend it's not happening.

From the outside, this looks like NPD behaviors (me me me), rather than OCPD, because being conscience/rule-driven *should* propel an OCPD'r to do his/her duty by an injured or ill spouse, however grudgingly. We all know (I hope) that if your spouse tells you, "Honey, I think I broke a bone; will you please drive me to the emergency room?" that The Right Thing to do is get the car keys and not argue - am I right?

What is going on, on the inside, we outsiders can only guess.


So, I'm guessing. :)

I see it as denial or deliberate self-delusion based on caring too much, rather than caring too little. My mental model of it (Note the term mental model - I'm not saying that it's an accurate reflection of anyone's thinking) is:

- It's the OCPDer's job to discover, implement, and enforce all of the rules that keep the universe spinning and keep anything bad from ever, ever happening.

- Something bad happened.

These two things are incompatible. They lead to a choice between two equally intolerable conclusions:

- Bad stuff just happens sometimes, with no way to prevent it, or

- The OCPDer committed an error in performing his job to ensure that nothing bad ever happens.

We know that the first is true. The OCPDer may logically know the same thing. But emotionally, no. To accept that is, I think, to undermine the whole underpinning for OCPD. It would be an instantaneous cure. That's not going to happen.

And the second is equally intolerable. If the OCPDer can make mistakes re things that are desperately important, like their spouse, then the whole protective structure that they've built around themselves is utterly worthless.

So it's necessary to go on to less logical but more palatable explanations. Some possible explanations that I can see are:

- Nothing bad has actually happened; the event is just an ordinary everyday thing.

- The bad thing is not the OCPDer's fault, it's the fault of the person that it happened to.

- The OCPDer doesn't actually care about the person. Look at them, after all, how imperfect and annoying they are.

Right now, I have a chest cold that's hanging on for a while. My guy is putting a lot of time and effort into explaining how the continued existence of the chest cold is all my fault for failing to follow his directives. The facts that he doesn't follow those directives when he's sick, and in fact doesn't even do simple things like getting enough sleep when he's sick, are irrelevant to him. Right now, he needs the cold to be my fault, so he declares it to be my fault.


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:13 pm
Posts: 580
realitycheque wrote:
So, if I understand you correctly, OCPDers have a weak Sense of Self, which they compensate for by trying to install an external highly-regarded and widely recognized set of standards/principles (for universal acceptance) upon which they "construct" their personality and consequently their world perspective (relative reality).

I think this may be pertinent to one forum member's adoption of religion and strong importance on moral tenets associated with that faith.

Could Fear of Failure (my DW's admitted handicap) and Guilt (i.e., being badly judged) be related? Is that why image/appearance to outsiders matters so much?


At the risk of appearing egocentric , assuming I'm the referenced member, i would like to weigh in here. I don't think I have had a weak sense of self. I think just the opposite. I had a tremendously strong sense of the part of self that in freudian terminology is the "superego". Paul refers to it as the "harsh or overdeveloped conscience". This is what OCPDers have taken exception to in regards to NP associations. A deficiency in self worth/esteem is shared, but there are very different responses and coping mechanisms . NPer's attempt to bolster self esteem with an overdeveleped ego, the OCPDer with the superego. The NP breaks rules as the OCPDer enforces them.


I want to speak to the pertincy of adopting " external highly-regarded and widely recognized set of standards/principles (for universal acceptance)", especially regarding "compensation". I find them not highly regarded. They did not make me feel better, but worse. It eventually resulted in a shift from egosyntonic to Superego-dysntonic. It was completely untenable.

If your standards or principles make you feel better, you may be dealing with an inferior set. I think a good set would ultimately lead you to some awareness of moral bankruptcy. "Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you" makes me very aware of my innate deficiency. OCPD self awareness does the same thing. But the good news is I don't have to remain there.


Last edited by annoor on Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:41 am 
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Quote:
So, if I understand you correctly, OCPDers have a weak Sense of Self, which they compensate for by trying to install an external highly-regarded and widely recognized set of standards/principles (for universal acceptance) upon which they "construct" their personality and consequently their world perspective (relative reality).


So since Yezrel said that this was what she was getting at (Sorry I'm quoting you RC), I'd say I disagree. I don't have a weak sense of self. I'm quite sure my OCPD issues come from my anxieties about the world around me not complying to how I *think* it should all run. It's not me who's screwed up, it's everyone else. Of course, I know that's not true, but that's how my brain immediately tries to run with thoughts, if I don't make myself stop and think, make myself calm down and acknowledge that there's something that obviously doesn't work in how I view the world around me. I don't make up all these principles to compensate for an inferiority complex about myself or my sense of who I am as self, it's just how I see things.

And yes, I was diagnosed with Narcissistic tendencies. I don't fit the criteria for the full-blown diagnosis. Which makes for fun arguments, when motivations behind the OCPD and Narcissism are so disparate, it's kind of funny for me, seeing how this thread reads. So I'm not sure how the argument runs, when people say they absolutely *cannot* coexist, because I was diagnosed with full-blown one, and tendencies of another. :) But hey, I'm a "difficult case" as my newest shrink has put it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:06 am 
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I say only "near" because the word "weak" is not the same as the anxiety of OCPD. But the Self is not in the center. It´s not the real theme of OCPD. If yes comes the NPD together in a combined PD.

Or in other words: NPD really has a weak Self which must be put the Self in the middle. OCPD is self-doubtful in anxiety and must set the norms in the center. So I have read about NPD and OCPD.


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:21 am 
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Location: Southeast US
annoor's description of a diagnosed NPDer:
"his was avowedly to stockholders first, "customers" second and to maximize return on investment."

From a later comment on his wealth I suspect that his priority was to enrich himself first. Maximizing the return on investment and sharing that with the stockholders were the tools to accomplish his first priority and customers were a neccessary evil.

That outlook is rampant in business, taught in business schools, and glorified by the print media and entertainment industry. Otherwise we wouldn't have had a whole string of ethics problems, Enron, Bernie Ebbers at WorldCom, Dennis Kozlowski at Tyco, the stock market meltdown, the banking industry that nearly crashed, or the housing market problems exemplified by Countrywide.

How could those with the tendencies not fall prey.


Last edited by unixstuff on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:23 am 
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annoor wrote:
At the risk of appearing egocentric , assuming I'm the referenced member, i would like to weigh in here.
Rather, you are appearing astute, and I'm glad you're offering your insights because of your recent introspection and religious experiences. You've had a religious epiphany, which contrasts with my DW's religious abandonment. I feel it's important to have strength in spirituality (inner peace) to address OC challanges, and wanted to see how core personality development and makeover is viewed internally by multiple OCPDers.


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 Post subject: Re: The Gift Unwrapped
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:39 pm 
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I would say the OCPDer has a doubtful Self and that's the reason for the strong superego and the rigid norms.


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